Skip to main content

Poland

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

United Kingdom Creditors

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the announcement that the Polish Financial Agreement is to be ratified, he will give an assurance that before this takes place, all just claims of creditors of the Polish State in England will be safeguarded.

No, Sir: but this matter was discussed during the recent Anglo-Polish trade talks, about which my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade made a statement in the House on 8th May. A satisfactory understanding was reached, but since it is still provisional and further talks are to follow, I should prefer not to make a detailed statement just yet.

Western Frontier

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the definitive Polish western frontier will be the same as that decided upon at Potsdam.

I would refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend's remarks on this subject in his opening speech in the foreign affairs Debate in this House last Thursday.

Does the hon. Gentleman recollect that a very large number of Poles who were evacuated from the territory East of the Curzon Line are now colonising land East of the Oder; that they are suffering intense anxiety as to their future position, and it is, therefore, essential that some definite steps should be taken?

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are a very large number of Poles in Scotland, and the Scottish people are anxious to know when they will be able to get rid of them?

Is my hon. Friend aware that, on this single issue, the present Polish Government and the Poles opposed to that Government in this country are agreed; and is he further aware that the Poles claim to have a letter written by Sir Alexander Cadogan assuring them of British support for their views, irrespective of what the Americans or anyone else may say?

I have no knowledge whatever of such an undertaking. If the hon. Gentleman will put down a Question, I will give it further consideration.

Does not the hon. Gentleman consider that unless the frontier is readjusted as contemplated at Potsdam, the pressure of population will force it to be adjusted, and there will be another war in the future?

We approach this question with an open mind. We feel that it is necessary to have a full examination of all the facts involved before any final and irrevocable decision is taken.

Poles, Uk (Repatriation)

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, since it is the recommendation of His Majesty's Government that all Poles in the United Kingdom and in the British zones of Austria and Germany should return to Poland, what assurance he has received that the many thousands of Poles who fought in General Anders' Corps in Italy after more than 18 months' forced labour in Siberia and other parts of the U.S.S.R., and thousands of other Poles with known anti-Communist views, will be able to live the lives of free men if they accept the advice of His Majesty's Government and return to their homeland.

I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member for Belfast University (Professor Savory) on 19th May.

Cannot the Minister understand that Poles who have once experienced Communist methods at first hand, and particularly the methods of the N.K.V.D., may not be very anxious to return to their country in the present circumstances?

That is a decision for the Poles themselves to take. We have made our view plain that they are needed at home and should go home.

Is the Minister aware that he has not made his view plain that they are needed at home, but that they ought to go home, and does he still stand by that?